Guest Post Sunday – Mummy Manifesto

 

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Hello. My Name is Lisa and I am a “Yeller”. No not the old dog from some old hokey Disney Movie.

I mean, I yell at my kids. There I said it. Are you still with me?

I make this confession as I have just found out via the inter-webs recently, in this day and age, yelling at your children is out. Something to do with impacting on their self-esteem or their character?

Also another newsflash: no smacking, no tapping, no sarcasm, no finger pointing, pretty much no negativity at all in the home.

You aren’t even supposed to say the word “No”!!

So if negative words or connotations are not allowed, where to now?

You guessed it: Positive Reinforcement.

I grew up in the 1980’s and the main parenting strategy was to keep children living in fear.  The main form of discipline involved: ”Do as I say, not as I do” and if I so much as looked the wrong way at my mother, the threat of my father coming to “set us straight” would soon cause my brother and sister to run for the hills. There was no ice-cream treat, special reward or town parade for achieving success.

While I am against corporal punishment, and I am not proud of yelling at my kids, it is purely a way to vent the frustration of parenthood.

How do I control myself when all I want to do is yell?

Take for instance such a situation as when I find all three of my off-spring early in the morning (Yes 5am is early) watching cartoons & dancing around on a sugar high of Cadbury’s finest. Their chubby cheeks full of my emergency chocolate stash, which was found while they were scaling the top shelf of the pantry cupboard, looking for something to eat at such early hours.

Bless their little hearts.

What do I say then?

“Excuse me, can you kindly remove those squishy, mushy chocolate’s from your little mouths, wash up your hands and turn off the TV. How considerate of you to only get the chocolate on your hands, mouths and t-shirts and not on my leather couch. Great initiative in sourcing your own food though”

Are you kidding me? (At least my couch is not white.)

My children are beautiful in their own right, but they appear to have their ears painted on, so communicating with such delightful specimens can be futile.

How does one get the message across if my children refuse to take heed of their crazy mother waving her arms around, attempting to gain their attention while they are concentrating on attaching the next important Lego piece to their masterpiece?

Albert Einstein used to say… “Doing the same thing over & over again and excepting the same outcomes is a form of insanity.” (Definitely paraphrasing here) If that is the case I am already there.

Who said 5 year olds have a short attention span? Not when it comes to Lego, only their mother’s voice.

If I have to resort to yelling to get my message across after 20 times of repeating myself in a soothing, calm voice then so be it. I know I am setting them up for a life of disregarding authority figures and low self esteem but the only other option is permanent hearing loss in their right ear.

Now excuse me while I try to think of some positive things to say about the Lego piece I just stood on…

Do you yell at your kids?

Or are you one of those calm, soothing mothers who has it all together?

Please note: This post is tongue-in-cheek (most of the time) and I do not believe in corporal punishment, but I do yell occasionally, I am human after all.

Lisa is a midwife, blogger and mum to 3 young boys. She blogs at http://www.mummymanifesto.com and writes about birth, motherhood, travel and life’s little adventures.
As an aspiring freelance writer, Lisa would love to see one of her articles featured in the magazines she has been addicted to for all these years. 

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